The Farmers’ Calendar as an example of a cultural factor shaping the knowledge about the countryside and agriculture in Poland

The modern scientific discourse on economic development increasingly emphasises the role of cultural factors. Social sciences reach for the cultural theories when they cannot explain the lack of economic growth despite favourable conditions, especially the financial and institutional ones. In Poland agriculture is the sector where the changes are strongly conditioned by the cultural background. Increasingly, the transformation of agriculture is broadly referred to the concept of "rurality". The study of modernisation of rural areas should take greater account of the cultural dimension (factors, determinants) and its influence over the economic transformation. A cultural perspective allows understanding the historicity of the countryside as a kind of the social survival which, whatever the prevailing economic trends, is based on certain values. Social scientists (sociologists, anthropologists, human geographers and other specialists) often criticise the perception of the peripheries as being economically backward and underdeveloped, especially in the context of the depreciation of the rural lifestyle. What is emphasised is the role of rural communities in fostering traditional values, including forms of cultural landscape, and their contribution to the phenomena shaping the modern mass (global) society. In recent years, the concept of "social representation", which uses qualitative methodology (mainly the analysis of visual and written materials), has become very popular.The paper presents The Farmers’ Calendar – a source of knowledge about agriculture addressed to farmers, which carries not only useful information but also a specific cultural transfer. This information is in fact embedded in the traditional cultural pattern, strongly associated with religious practices, the sphere of the family values and all the elements which stress the specific (magical and religious) dimension of the relation between a farmer and the nature. Although they cannot be regarded as the main source of knowledge about agriculture, these materials should be considered as an important expression of the cultural transmission and the way of thinking of a large group of people engaged in farming in Poland, especially in the eastern and southern regions of the country. The information from The Farmers’ Calendar was divided according to different criteria, including the volatility of the information over time (since the 1990s), the promoted interpretation of the vision of farmers’ work and the changes that have been taking place in the Polish agriculture.


Editor(s):
Chmieliński, Paweł
Baer-Nawrocka, Agnieszka
Issue Date:
2013
Publication Type:
Book/ Chapter
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISBN 978-83-7658-378-5 (Other)
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/164912
Published in:
Rural Areas and Development, Volume 10
Page range:
173-184
Total Pages:
12
Series Statement:
Rural Areas and Development
10




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-27

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